The John A. Wott Botanic Gardens Endowed Fellowship was awarded this spring to Kyra Matin, a second-year Master of Environmental Horticulture student at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.
As part of her masters project, Kyra is working on several aspects of the New Zealand Forest display in the Pacific Connections Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum. Part of her project aims to provide horticultural and curatorial information for the Forest display as well as a long-term management plan based on the ecology of the site. For this, she has traveled to New Zealand and has been working at the Dunedin Botanic Garden and with students at the University of Otago. The higher elevations of the Otago region contain the areas we are attempting to emulate with our ecogeographic display of New Zealand native plants. As part of her internship there, Kyra has been documenting wild habitats in the region that have conditions similar to our site. She has also been collecting seeds from wild populations of specific genera for inclusion in the Arboretum display. As part of her project she has been working closely with Curator of Living Collections Ray Larson and Horticulture Manager David Zuckerman.
Before her travel to New Zealand, Kyra also worked as a temporary gardener a the Arboretum, where she used her Environmental Science and Resource Management course knowledge to assist in renovating and restoring habitat and collections areas along Arboretum Creek and Lake Washington Boulevard. Kyra plans to pursue a career in public gardens, with a focus on curation and garden management.